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A TEENAGE politician has retuned to her former school to help inspire students to reach their full potential.

Sharifah Rahman, 19, spoke to year 11 students at Haughton Academy, Darlington, to help them prepare for their forthcoming GCSE exams.

One of the country’s youngest ever elected politicians, Sharifah was chosen to represent the Red Hall and Lingfield ward after winning a seat on Darlington Council in 2017.

The inspiring teenager was also named Young Citizen of the Year in 2016, for “making a real difference in her community due to her commitment to challenging prejudices, stereotypes and misconceptions”.

“I don’t know if I ever really set out to be a politician,” said Sharifah.

“I just wanted to be able to help people and hopefully I can offer some useful advice to the students at Haughton Academy who are going through the same exam pressures that I did when I took my GCSEs.”

Sharifah, who is currently on a gap year after completing her A-levels at Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, is planning to study politics at Leeds University in September.

“I did quite well but I now know that I could have pushed myself more at school and that I was capable of getting higher marks,” she said.

“I know that it is difficult for young people to give up the fun things in life to make time for revision, but if you make small sacrifices now it will pay off in the future.”

Alongside using revision timetables, Sharifah recommended students organise each exam subject into smaller topic areas, create personalised revision material, make practice questions and answers for each subject, as well as eat healthily, sleep well and exercise.

Student Luke Robinson, 16, of Darlington, added: “I found Sharifah’s talk really inspirational. I had been considering a career in politics, but hearing Sharifah speak has really inspired me and made me certain that it is what I want to do.

“I enjoy debating and would like to be able make a difference in my community in the future.

“Her tips on revising for exams and pushing yourself to do the best you can to follow your dreams were inspiring.”

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